(if a car is not pictured here, it has been sold)

Erecting your Frogeye Hood

Top up and ready for a trip North of Toronto

This week, we sent our Bugeye “Miller” to his new home in Ontario. The client chose to have his car travel North on an open trailer, which meant that the car had to travel with the top and windows in place.

While preparing this car for departure, I thought I would shoot some pictures in case anyone is having trouble putting up their top.

Here’s the top bow locked in the down position, locked in the detent, which makes life a lot easier

Often overlooked are the springs in the top bow. They need to be compressed to put on the top, especially when it’s cold and the vinyl top contracts. Make sure your bow springs work, they are often seized. When pushing them into, for example, your garage floor (safely away from your car), the bows should move up and down about 1.5 inches. If not, use your favorite penetrating oil and free them up.

Above, the bow in the “up” position, release the thumb lock and the bow should pop upward, adding tension to your top (this is the last step, once the top is on the car)

Next put the bows into the holders in the car and lock them in the down position. Lay the top over the bows and fasten the top bar on the back deck hooks. Then fasten the common sense/twist fittings to center the top.

Start with the twist fittings to align the top, then pull the tenax fittings over their studs

Once you have all the rear fittings attached, you can drape the top over the bows, which are still in the down position. Both bars are still parallel too.

Now you are ready to tackle the windshield mounts

Next stretch the front of the top over the windscreen. This is a bar type top, so I like to start with one lift dot on one side of the windshield and then fasten the other side. Once the two lift dots are attached, I will then roll the thin front bar (inside the top pocket) into the groove on the windshield frame.

Here’s one lift dot fastened, once the other is attached, I will then roll the metal bar into the slot on the windshield frame

That front top bar is crucial, as it stops the front of the top from ballooning upward above 21.8 miles per hour. I spent a lot of teenage years driving with my top scooping the rain since I never had one of those bars. Now, I celebrate every one I install. (Click here if you’re late to the party too and want to order one). The bar doesn’t have to go deep into the groove in the windshield, it just has to stop the leading edge from becoming a parachute.

Now that the top is secured, you can spread the two parallel top bars, and release the springs to raise the top bow upward, for a nice tight fit

These tops are pretty simple but everything has to be just right or they can be a real bear. Sadly, most tops are too small to begin with, and they shrink over time, which means that it can be extremely difficult to fit them in cold weather. We sell a top in our catalog that is not only stretchier but it also cut better and thus easier to fit (even in the cold) and will also last longer. They cost a little more, but they’re superior. Check them out by clicking here (lots of colors)

“Weather-tight!” And check out our new cable railing! Our 1951 Quonset is looking faster and faster every week!

Don’t do this to your Bugeye Sprite.

I am not a fan of oversized sway bars. They’re fine if you run on the track, but for street use, they really damage ride quality, and seem to also lessen front wheel traction, especially on bumpy turns. Below is a picture of a 3/4″ bar on a car we prepared recently (before we removed it, more on that in a minute).

The stock unit (from later Spridgets) is just right, and this is a wonderful upgrade for every Sprite with no downside. These bars are only 9/16″ and they seem like they can’t be sufficient to impact handling, but that they do. They reduce body roll and make these cars more fun. Every Spridget needs one. And there is no diminishment in ride quality.

The white powder on the tip of bracket is rim material grinding off of lip of rim! (happening when compressed and properly loaded)

Back to the car above… on this one, not only did we observe harsh handling and a twitchy front, but we heard a grinding noise on sharp turns, which, upon investigation, meant that that bar was digging into the inner lip of the rims. These mounts are just slightly out of alignment, or the bar is not quite bent enough or both, but here is one more reason to only use the stock bar for your street car. That’s what this car has now, problems solved!

There are a bunch of pictures of the stock bar posted here, and you can even buy one while you are at it by clicking here!

2018 Mini Cooper S JCW for sale, in Mint condition with just 7000 miles

Here’s something different… this is a stunning, nearly brand new Mini Cooper John Cooper Works model, with just 7021 miles. The car is a rocket, with 228 turbo charged HP. It’s about 2800 LBS and great fun, with tons of modern features. This is the first car we have featured on our site with a back up camera and heated seats!

Now that’s a front brake!

You can zoom around town, or switch to “green mode” and choose fuel efficiency. The car is loaded with technology and the two electronic car keys alone seem smarter than the average Bugeye Sprite.

We have always loved Minis, and this is a fun car just like its classic Mini brethren. And they’re fun cars with much more modern practicality than the classic Minis you have seen more frequently on our site.

I traded this car for our black MGA Coupe so I would like to find it a new home. The car is immaculate, with wonderful factory works black leather seats, built with attractive red accents. If you are unfamiliar, the JCW kit is the factory performance Mini, a limited edition with multiple upgrades and cosmetic accents.

Call or email anytime if you are looking for a nearly new modern car that also provides classic car fun! The car was about $38,000 new. Offered here for $28,995. Email if you are interested!

Electric Bugeye Sprite… prototype complete.

Hey, Prince of Darkness, perhaps we can appease you with a pint?

We couldn’t resist poking fun at Lucas electrics on the cover of the main battery box of our prototype electric FrogE. This is what you first see under the bonnet, where the 948 power plant once lived. At this point though, the Prince of Darkness has been excommunicated. There are no Lucas electrics in the lithium manganese oxide batteries and related wiring on board.

Our prototype electric Bugeye is now complete. Take a drive with me in the video below, to the Post office to deliver a last minute catalog order. This week we got the regenerative braking working just right, so that that Bugeye has perhaps the best rear brakes in town.

We have regen dialed in now so that with your foot off the gas, you feel as though you’ve made a downshift into second, and the “engine” braking feels pretty authentic, while also putting some juice back into the main batteries. Add a little gas pedal and the car coasts freely. Feather the pedal for one foot driving, with almost no brake pedal needed. Now we have excellent braking to go with the excellent acceleration that comes with this build.

Check out the video drive below, and if you want your Sprite converted to electric power, do get in touch so we can discuss this impressive transformation.

Bugeye flip-forward nose conversion

We’re getting this particular Bugeye “Bic” (our 241st sold!) ready for departure to a new home in Colorado. The new owner requested a flip-forward nose conversion. If you are unfamilar, the original hinges were mounted at the cowl and the flip-forward conversion gives much better engine bay access.

“Bic” front radiator supports, missing the rear portion for unknown reasons

This conversion was popular with racers so there is precedent and thus it is widely accepted that you can add this conversion to your car without diminishing value. Of course there can be heated discussions about this, with purists and concours judges objecting, but by and large it’s OK to switch to flip forward. Like the 1275 engine, this was a common and popular modification.

The correct original radiator supports shown on a different car

What made this particular modification somewhat unusual was that the radiator supports were modified on this particular car. A portion of the radiator support was cut away, perhaps as a result of an old collision. In order to mount the limit strap bolt of our flip kit, you need the metal base intact so there is something to which we can fasten the limit strap. To be clear, our kit has its own limiter built in and thus no leashes are needed.

New struts welded in place on Bic

So in order to mount the kit and make it work, we cut off the old supports and put in new ones and we were happy to have those newly in stock for our catalog (you can order them by clicking here). Now we can attach the brackets to the nose and button it all up. If you want to make your nose flip-forward, click here to order your kit.

In the photos below, you can see the new hinges in the closed and open position. Next, we’ll mount the nose on the new hinges, align it, and add some leather hold-down straps.

Here you can see the hinge parts in place where they will reside when the nose is closed. Notice the limit strap bolt on the radiator mount, which we could not easily fasten given the new radiator supports.
This is what how the pivots look when the nose is tipped forward. Next week, we’ll bolt the nose to the two open holes shown and Bic will be ready for departure.

Bugeye Vs Rooster

This car magazine cover has all the right elements to attract sportscar fans… attractive car, attractive woman… and a rooster? Well, I guess you never knew what you might find in “Fart and Form” magazine back in Maj (May) of 1961.

“Fart” in Swedish, by the way, means “speed.”

I am sad to report that “Fart and Form” is no longer published, and one can only guess why. There’s talk on this particular cover of air resistance and streamlining discussed inside. But I guess in 1961 the speediest way to go out of business was to put a rooster on the cover of your fart magazine.

Contact us at or call (203)-208-0980 during business hours